instagram direct message story reply
Instagram now allows users to reply to stories with Boomerangs, videos, photos. Instagram

You can now be more “fun and playful” when replying to your friend’s stories on Instagram. The platform now allows you to reply to a story with a picture and even Boomerangs.

Instagram announced the update Thursday. The feature is part of Instagram’s 10.28 update for iOS and Android devices.

Read: Snapchat Update: How To Insert Links, Use Creative Backgrounds, New Voice Filters

“Today’s update is just one of the ways we’re working to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with friends on Instagram,” the platform said in a post.

How To Reply To Instagram Stories With Photos

Before the update, users had the option of replying to stories with written messages. Now, people can send a photo, video, reverse videos through Boomerang, apply filters and stickers as well.

To send a photo or video:

  1. Open up your friend’s story.

  2. Tap the new camera icon on the bottom-left of the screen.

  3. When replying, the story you are answering back to will be turned into a sticker that you can move around and resize.

  4. Choose how you want to reply, either normal mode for photos and videos, or Boomerang. You can also choose a filter.

  5. Once you’re done taking a video, photo or Boomerang, you can choose stickers like you normally do when creating your own stories.

  6. Hit Send on the bottom-center of the screen.

instagram story reply
Instagram now allows users to reply to stories with Boomerangs, videos, photos. Instagram

When someone replies to your story with a photo or video you’ll get the message in your inbox with a thumbnail of your story, like you do for written story replies. You’ll also be able to see a friend has taken a screenshot or replayed the story’s reply.

The update comes after Instagram introduced other ways to make direct messages better for users. In May, the platform began allowing users to send photos and videos on Direct messages landscape or portrait modes. Before the update, users were only allowed to share square images and videos. The platform also started showing links in messages that actually take the user to the site. The link now shows the page’s main photo, title and a part of the website’s text. Previously, Instagram only displayed the link but didn’t take users to the website, which wasn’t so helpful to users.

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Instagram also updated how it deals with phone numbers and addresses. Tapping on the phone number now gives users the option to call or copy it, while hitting on an address brings up the option to open it on Google Maps or Apple’s Maps app.

The recent moves show Instagram is trying to make itself the go-to messaging platform. Instagram Direct had 375 million monthly active users as of April, but that number lags behind Facebook Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly active users.

However Instagram’s direct messaging feature puts it ahead of its rival Snapchat. Instagram announced in April it had over 200 million people using Instagram Stories daily. The numbers aren’t bad, considering the social media platform launched Stories last August.